An immensely satisfying novel filled with stolen art, love, lies, and changing identities.
I was sure what to expect when I picked up Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm. I was promised intrigue, lies, and an unreliable narrator. Thanks to the popularity of Gone Girl, unreliable narrators have popped up in too many books. However, Unbecoming draws you in from the very beginning, whether you believe Grace or not. Of course, the romantic setting in Paris, France doesn’t hurt either.
Julie, as Grace calls herself in France, has started a new life under the radar. She’s hiding from her small Tennessee hometown and the two men she loves, who have just been released on parole. Both were jailed for a crime that Grace helped planned. The job when bad, but Grace was already on a plane to Europe–with a stolen oil painting in her suitcase. She creates a new life for herself in an antiques repair shop, waiting for her lies and her past to catch up with her.
Unbecoming kept me on my toes the entire time. I wasn’t sure what Grace would reveal next and if there was any truth to it. Usually I find myself hating unreliable characters, but I really liked Grace. I wanted her to be happy. Even if she is a thief. The novel’s pace is steady, allowing the reader time to attempt to unravel Grace’s web of lies.
I hesitate to compare this novel to everyone’s beloved The Goldfinch (which I loathed) because the only thing they have in common is a priceless stolen painting. But my brain keeps going back to Tartt’s book (now being read by book clubs everywhere). Unbecoming will make a great book club read. You’ll find plenty to discuss from Scherm’s novel.
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm releases on Thursday and I highly recommend it. Read it with a friend because you’ll want someone to discuss it with after!
Considering the novel for your book club? Download the Unbecoming book club guide for discussion questions, author interviews, and cocktail recipes!